St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft today lodged a proposal that, if accepted, will direct the Policy and Resources Committee to reduce the number of public sector posts at the end of September this year by not less than ten per cent by the end of 2005.The proposition says that the public is understandably dismayed at the prospect of increased taxation in order to fund a government deficit when it sees no evidence of the States having first cut its expenditure on staffing.’This failure to rein in payroll costs is all the more astonishing given the signficant cuts in the capital programme and in the revenue budgets of some departments,’ says Mr Crowcroft.If his proposal is accepted, it will give P & R the power to tell other committees to cut staff numbers, including contract and temporary posts.Mr Crowcroft says that during the recent fundamental spending review, committee presidents came up with requirements for up to 70 new full-time posts.
‘The situation is desperate and demands desperate remedies,’ says the Constable.His proposition shows that the number of people who can be employed by non-trading committees is 6,462 in total.The Constable’s report reveals that in the six months to the end of last year, only 4.22 full-time equivalent posts out of a total headcount of 6,226 fulfilled the criteria of ‘compensatory savings’.’Ask any householder the simple question: ”If your income is cut do you continue with your previous levels of expenditure?” The answer must be ”no””.
And what goes first – the children’s clothes or the cleaner? The answer is obvious.’Ask any company director: ”If your income is cut do you continue your previous staffing levels?” Again the answer must be “”no””,’ says the Constable in his report to the House.However, he says this does not appear to apply to the States of Jersey.’When we look across the States departments we see the majority of them employing more people as if there is no greater need for these posts elsewhere.
How many administrative or managerial posts have been saved in those departments recently merged under the umbrella of the Economic Development Committee?’ he asks.He also asks why there has not been a fall in the number of public sector employees supporting the agriculture industry, given the downturn in the industry.’Rather we note that three additional one-year contract posts were created in the last six months of 2002,’ says the Constable.His report points out that Environment and Public Services has managed to save one post while Health and Social Services has added 7.31 posts.He says that Employment and Social Security has filled 13.5 contract positions while the new Tourism Board has added two contract posts to its complement of 41 staff.